Trying to shake the sad

When you get a call at night from your east coast son and it is midnight his time, and he starts the conversation with his voice breaking and the words, “I have something really upsetting to share with you…” your mind immediately goes in a bad direction, as it did for me. In a split second my brain conjured a dozen horrifying scenarios, like last month when he called to tell us he had totaled his Subaru Crosstrek (with him inside) in a snow storm in New York, but but he was okay. I got that pit of my stomach ache knowing something bad was about to happen. In this case, it had obviously already happened. The next words were like a punch in the gut: “Luke died of an overdose. His mom found him this morning.”

Luke was a classmate and good friend of The Pragmatist and also a friend of The Peacemaker. He was also the sweetest, kindest, gentlest soul, just 30 years old. He was experimenting with Ketamine and apparently this last batch was laced with a deadly dose of fentanyl. I’m so sad.

We got a call from Luke a few years back, long after The Pragmatist had moved east. He said he and another classmate/friend were starting a landscaping business and would we be interested in their services. I said sure. Our garden needed a revamp and I just love these two boys. Both sweet, and adorable really. They came up with the most exquisite themed garden with Blue Eyes’ walking meditation in mind. They cared about and for every single plant they put in our garden. Luke had personally sourced each plant, some brought here from lands afar.

Autumn 2018. They planted islands representing plants from different areas of the world, all that would grow in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The farthest corner is the Mediterranean. To the left is New Zealand, center is Oregon, forefront is Asia. There’s also a shade garden beneath an old lilac and dogwood, original to the property.

Once the walking meditation garden was complete, they asked if they could build something for us. I had been talking with them about a greenhouse. Blue Eyes had mentioned his desire for a tea house meditation space, a zen-do. There was a nice flat spot in the meditation garden where a golden plum tree resided. Either could go there. I decided Blue Eyes could have his tea house. He actually wanted it to be a painting studio for me, but I felt like he had earned his own meditation space. The boys were thrilled and enlisted the help of a 3rd classmate of The Pragmatist, the son of their school’s shop teacher, now a draftsman, and he set about drawing the plans. The three boys then spent the summer of 2019 building the tea house.

Just getting started.
Completed Fall 2019.
Every Season in the garden is beautiful.
Even winter.

I will never be able to go into our garden without thinking of Luke. I am blessed for having known such a beautiful soul. But my heart is breaking and I cannot imagine the pain his parents are experiencing right now.

22 thoughts on “Trying to shake the sad

          • Kat – I want to say more, but I’m struggling right now, just in general. I know a few of my female age-mates who have lost children this way. It’s so very horrid and hard for them. They are good women; good mothers. They have tremendous trauma.

            I seriously don’t “get” why Mr. Dealer Whomever decides to lace cannabis with Fentanyl? The dealers want the customers to come back and buy more weed. They can’t do repeat business if the buyer is dead. I hope that isn’t too graphic. But what the ???? This is so sad and I am so sorry.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’m sorry you are struggling. I also don’t get why anyone would lace anything with a deadly dose of drugs. It’s murder really, and horrifying. I guess it takes quite a few weeks for the autopsy to come back and give more details, however, nothing will bring this sweet kid back to his mother, so there’s that. Such a loss. xoxo

              Liked by 1 person

              • It is murder. I have heard of a few “dealers” being convicted in our state (NY). You’re right, though about his mother. Nothing brings him back. The mothers are never the same, it seems, from what I’ve seen with a few friends. I am so sorry for everyone. It’s tragic.

                Thanks for your comment. I’m struggling b/c of FOO stuff and current family dynamics. I know you “get” that, sometimes people should go “no contact” and therapists have told me it’s okay if I do that. They’ve heard the stories. My sister left our entire family; she has no contact with anyone. I may blog about it, as I have C-PTSD, mostly from my mother. When you speak of Luke, I can tell he was loved. Some kids aren’t loved or wanted, sadly. My elderly mother needs a lot of help now and she’s difficult (manipulative). It stirs a lot up. My husband is supportive, so that’s HUGE for me.

                Hugs to you, Kat.

                Liked by 1 person

                • So glad your husband is there for you. That’s so important now! I hope you are able to manage the FOO situation without too much more stress. Stress is so destructive on the body. Luke was so loved and I had forgotten that he had a twin brother that died when they were 18 months. Such pain for one mother to bear. Hugs back and I hope you have a peaceful weekend.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Thanks Kat. Oh my on Luke having a twin who passed. So much loss for his mother. And yes about stress. Cortisol and all those chemicals. OY.

                    My FOO stuff is probably going to be around bc Mom is falling and just not well. She wants to be with Dad (passed 2018). She’s having success manipulating my sister who I always had a good relationship with, and my sister is treating me unfairly (husband’s words). She’s not one to talk things out. She’s always right. It may help me to blog about this. Thanks for your care and hugs.

                    Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m so sorry to hear this sad news, my heart breaks thinking about this tragedy. Luke’s poor family. My deepest sympathies to all who are grieving this young man.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So very sad for his family and all who loved him. Your garden is a beautiful reminder of the physical legacy he leaves behind.

    I feel like Nancy Reagan telling my kids to stay away from drugs, but it’s so scary out there these days. In our area we are even seeing pot laced with fentanyl and carfentanyl. Terrifying.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It is so difficult and we always hope that when we impress upon our children that “stay away from drugs” message that they will do so because they respect us and know we are speaking from experience (and love), however, as we know, those vulnerable brains aren’t fully formed and they make some dumb decisions. Oregon has de-criminalized drugs to try and deal with some of these horrible aspects, but the makers/dealers are only after profits and cutting with cheaper ingredients is a problem. Now that pot is legal here, I’m sure children are still buying it on the streets because it’s not legal for them. It’s a sad state of affairs. Luke was not a kid anymore, and the boys actually opened a Marijuana/House Plant store in a very posh area of town after completing the tea house. To have this happen to him is even more devastating because he had connections. Faulty ones, it seems. I spend a lot of time in my garden. It will now be bittersweet, but I know he touched every single plant, so it will be my forever connection to him. Truly terrifying, I agree. Our oldest is flying in tomorrow to be with friends. It’s hitting them so hard. xo

      Liked by 2 people

    • It was kind of funny. Luke was pretty intuitive really. He chose those particular themed gardens/plants because they could grow here and they felt right… Of course Oregon and Asia have the most significance, but the Mediterranean and New Zealand hold very special places in our hearts and he had no idea, but was so pleased when he heard our stories of visits to each. He was a truly special human being. When I first viewed the NZ garden I asked, excitedly, “is there a silver fern…” He said no, he couldn’t source one, but had wanted to. So cute. My heart is truly broken. xoxo

      Liked by 2 people

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